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Ascot Elite taps Otto

Former Sony exec to head acquisitions, sales, co-prod'ns

BERLIN — Ascot Elite Filmverleih, the German theatrical arm of Swiss-based Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, has tapped former Sony Pictures Television Deutschland exec Daniel Otto as head of acquisitions, sales and co-productions.

Otto most recently served as director of acquisitions at Sony, where he also oversaw acquisitions and content for the group’s pay TV channels AXN, AXN-HD and Animax, as well as the South African Animax.

In his new post, Otto will report to Ascot Elite chief operating officer Stephan Giger and CEO Ralph Dietrich.

“Our German operations, namely our theatrical activities, are a very strong pillar of our distribution strategy in the territory,” Dietrich said. “We are very proud to have Daniel on board. He is known for being an excellent and well connected buyer, and knows the international and German market by heart. Based on his background and personality, he will be a valuable addition to our team.”

Otto began his career in 1996 at the now defunct Kirch Media, where he headed feature film acquisitions. After a three-year stint at German sales company Peppermint and its parent company Helkon, he joined Deutsche Telekom’s T-Online division in 2003 to help build its VOD business. He later moved to German pay TV platform Premiere (now Sky Deutschland), where he oversaw VOD rights acquisitions before joining Sony, where he worked the past four years.

Ascot Elite’s current German releases include John Michael McDonagh’s “The Guard,” and upcoming titles such as Werner Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” Peter Jay Brown’s “Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist” and Jeff Nichols’ “Take Shelter,” starring Michael Shannon (“Man of Steel”).

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